Alyssa Beckett found the perfect combination of career preparation and athletics
Like many high school seniors approaching graduation, Alyssa Beckett was unsure what her future held and if that included college. She was most certainly qualified with her 3.8 GPA at Buckeye High School where she graduated in 2021. And with her accolades as a softball player (First Team All-Great Lakes Conference, First Team All-Patriot Athletic Conference, First Team All-Medina County) she could have continued her athletic career at a number of different places.
It was late during her senior year when she discovered the right combination of higher education, career preparation and the ability to continue her athletic pursuits. She found it all at Lorain County Community College.
Now, as she prepares to earn an associate of applied science in police science in May, Beckett is reflecting on the decisions that led her to this moment.
“I did not consider any other schools because I didn't know if I wanted to go to college or not,” said Beckett. “I decided in April of my senior year of high school and signed with LCCC's softball program the same day.”
Head Coach Bill Matthews was still riding out the pandemic and taking on new players for the 2022 season when he lucked out with a player as athletically gifted as Beckett joining the squad.
“As our leadoff hitter,” says Head Coach Bill Matthews, “she has been very productive at the plate and she has been a stalwart on defense in the middle infield.”
Beckett’s freshman year as a softball player was cut short with an injury but Matthews says that didn’t deter her from coming back and playing well in her second season. Before her injury, Beckett hit .353 and then improved to hit over .600 the following year.
“When I picked LCCC and talked to Coach Matthews, I knew I wanted to continue my athletic journey beyond high school. I have been playing this sport since I was 3 years old, so there was no question about whether I was going to continue or not,” she said.
Along with softball, the other constant in Beckett’s life has been her admiration for law enforcement and her desire to become a police officer at a very young age.
“I chose police science at LCCC because being a police officer is something I have wanted to be since I was a little girl,” said Beckett. “I have always had an interest in law enforcement because of the officers I have known throughout my whole life.”
Those law enforcement officials she has met along the way are the ones that inspired her. Including Kenneth Collins, Director of Security at LCCC, who suggested Beckett apply for a part-time job in the campus security office to help her gain experience in the field. Collins, a softball coach at Brookside High School, coached against Beckett in High School and also coached with Beckett’s father one summer in travel softball.
“Alyssa was a wonderful addition to our office and will do well in the criminal justice field. We will be adding her to the list of professionals that got their start in our Campus Security office,” Collins said.
With a role within campus security, that experience allowed Beckett to get a feel for different areas of law enforcement, allowing her to learn more about LCCC’s main campus, and get a better understanding about police work through the relationships she made with the Elyria Police officers that assist in patrolling campus.
Despite the commitment that classes, training, campus security, and softball demanded of her, Beckett embraced the challenge and found success. “It was not very hard to juggle softball, school, and my job in campus security,” said Beckett. “I knew that I had to get my degree and that school would come first. Luckily, my job worked so well with my busy schedule and let me change my hours whenever I needed it.”
The experience has her looking forward to a career in law enforcement, and she plans to apply for the LCCC Police Academy.
“People tend to tell me that I am crazy for wanting to go into this field because of how dangerous it is,” says Beckett. “But the police science program has prepared me for the next step in my career. It’s helped me get a better understanding about the job, its requirements, and helped me realize how much I want to be a police officer and help my community.”
Beckett plans to work her way up to detective one day but until then she is interested in working with K9 units that specialize in drug searches and missing persons.
“The police science program has prepared me for the next step in my career.”